Auburn Football: Texas A&M at #3 Auburn Preview and Predictions

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Nov 1, 2014; Oxford, MS, USA; Auburn Tigers wide receiver Sammie Coates (18) scores a touchdown during the second quarter against the Ole Miss Rebels at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Shanna Lockwood-USA TODAY Sports

Auburn’s Keys to Victory

1. Stay focused. It’s strange to say this about a game against a 6-3 SEC opponent, but this game is perfectly sandwiched in between contests at Ole Miss and Georgia. Gus Malzahn’s Tigers haven’t been known to take an opponent lightly, but it’s still key that Saturday isn’t a first. Looking ahead to Georgia in even the slightest way could be really dangerous for the Tigers. Back in September, in a game sandwiched between the wins against Kansas State and LSU, Auburn struggled against Louisiana Tech, leading just 24-10 in the 4th quarter before pulling away. Auburn’s full attention shouldn’t be on Georgia. It should be on Texas A&M.

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2. Do what you do on offense. In conference games this year, Auburn is averaging 532 yards per game. In three SEC home games this year against Arkansas, LSU and South Carolina, Auburn has put up 595, 566 and 551 yards, respectively. Nick Marshall has accounted for 1,988 yards and 22 touchdowns with only four turnovers. Cameron Artis-Payne leads the SEC in rushing with 178 carries for 969 yards and seven touchdowns. I think you get the point that Auburn has a good offense this year. In fact, it might be time to say that the Tigers’ offense is better than it was at its peak last season. A&M’s defense, meanwhile, has been far from great. They’ve allowed 414 yards per game (12th in the SEC ahead of Mississippi State and South Carolina). The Tigers should roll on offense in this contest.

3. The secondary really needs to improve. As stated before, Auburn’s secondary has really struggled the past two games after arguably being a strength in the first six contests. Though Kyle Allen is a true freshman making his first road start, he has weapons to work with and the jury’s still out regarding the Tiger secondary. The coverage has to play better man coverage, defend the middle of the field better and simply tackle better. The tackling against Ole Miss was the worst fans have seen since the 2012 Iron Bowl. A&M has speed all over the field, so Auburn’s back four need to get much better at coverage and simply making tackles.

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